Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fundraising Week – The Best Toy Reviews

As I outlined in last week’s desperate plea for money, Needless Things needs your help.
It’s getting even more expensive to run this website and has gotten to the point where I quite frankly can’t justify paying what the various servers and hosts want. So in the post linked above I explained the situation and asked if you folks could help out by buying merch from here:
Straight-up donating dollars here:
Or just by sharing these fundraising posts all over the internet.

And here’s a thing I’m going to try:

The Needless Things Mystery Box!

It could be toys, comics, books, t-shirts I’ve worn once or never (that have been laundered! Or not if you’re weird!), or any one of a number of weird tchotchkes laying around the Phantom Zone. There will be a Needless Things sticker (or three) in every box.


Finally, each Mystery Box will include a M.U.S.C.L.E decoration put together by me! That's right – I used my own two hands and a pair of needle nose pliers to screw an eyelet into each and every one.

WOW! What a bunch of work that was!

Simply go to needlessthings.storenvy.com and order yourself one (or more!) Mystery Box! Believe me – I have a ton of cool stuff just sitting around the Phantom Zone.


Finally, if you are band or have a website or sell some kind of service or something; I am selling ad space on Needless Things. For twenty bucks you get one of the attractive buttons on the right sidebar for one year. ONE WHOLE YEAR! That means every person that sees me at a con, wrestling event, or live podcast that decides to check out the site will see YOUR ad. They will be positioned first-come, first-serve; so get your request in now to be closer to the top. OR you can pay a little more and get preferred placement.

To arrange for an ad, e-mail me at the address in my Facebook badge in the sidebar, or simply message me on Facebook.
I’m going to try mentioning this every day this week and see what happens. If I don’t raise the funds needed to keep things going… well, I don’t know. I love writing for the site and I love doing the podcasts even more, but it might be nice to have all that time and money. Doing this is essentially a second full time job that doesn’t pay me anything. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact.

But what I really want is to be able to afford better hosting so that I can do more. More episodes of the podcast. More con reports. More everything. If you guys enjoy Needless Things and would like more, do one or all of the things above.


In order to show you what you’ll be getting, I will be spending the whole week running down my favorite Needless Things posts from the past several years. Each day will feature a different category of posts so you can see just how many things we do here.

While I pride myself on the many different types of content offered here on Needless Things, toy reviews are obviously the cornerstone of the site. Part of the reason is that I love toys, but part of it is that I am a collector and as long as I maintain gainful employment will never run out of material. I know that sounds a little grim, but I’ve been thinking a lot about money and the lack thereof lately. That’s why we’re here today.

I have no idea how many toy reviews I’ve written in the past six years. Many of them went up on the MySpace blog and for one reason or another won’t ever be reposted here. Today’s selections are the ones that stick out the most in my mind.
The AT-AT was so big and involved that I was compelled to shoot a little video for the review. This was a fun and overwhelming review to write because the toy is just so damned big and full of features. To this day it is the second best toy I own (the Hasbro Millennium Falcon is the best; I’m still kind of bummed I never gave it a proper review).
This is the most disappointing figure I have ever reviewed. The quality was just awful. I’ve bought worse figures, but they were joke purchases from Dollar Tree.
This one was exciting because the guy that runs (ran?) the company that produced this Tick figure read my review and was appreciative. Well, of the review. Maybe not so much of the comments I made about his company’s shady and somewhat hilarious reputation.
These gems from the 4 Horsemen are some of my favorite toys. Aesthetically they don’t go with anything else I collect, but they are so much fun to play with. I need to get caught up on the collection, as there are a good six or eight figures that I don’t have. I still have four that I haven’t reviewed yet. Time for another marathon session. Maybe.
This was a post for my Halloween coverage. I gathered up all of the Retro Action Ghostbusters and reviewed them all at once. They're kind of all the same thing, so it seemed like a good idea for a fun Halloween post. The thing about these is that they're The Real Ghostbusters - based on the cartoon. The incredible cartoon. This was a really fun review to write.
Sure, this one is recent. But it’s easily my favorite review that I’ve ever done. Once I figured out what I wanted to do it was so much fun putting it together. So fun, as a matter of fact, that I was compelled to use Power Point again for my St. Patrick’s Day Special. I got a lot of good feedback from this one, but Mr. Beau Brown’s message about it was the best. If you please that guy with your Masters of the Universe review, you’ve done a good job.
I’m proud of this review just for the fact that I did it. These Sideshow figures are so complex that it’s really a pain in the ass to review them. Zartan is one of my favorite GI Joe characters and the last of the Sideshow Joes figures that I bought. They just got too expensive. I did buy the Boba Fett that came out later, but that’s Boba Fett. And I still haven’t reviewed him. Because I’m lame.

Oh, and why are the images all fucked up in this one? I don't know.
This is a total rip-off of something that Dinosaur Dracula (wait, don’t click that – you’re supposed to be giving me money today; click this:

)
This is very similar to something some other website might do. But since that website is an inspiration for a lot of what I do here, I figured it was okay to do it once. I bought a bunch of stupid crap from Dollar Tree because it was purple. Then I decided I could squeeze a review out of it. I like this one because I didn’t care about this stuff at all and I think it made it a little more fun.
I have been collecting toys basically since I was born. Coming up on thirty-eight years. I have been doing it with my own funds and my own motivation for probably twenty-six of those years. In all of that time, I have never been more frustrated trying to find a toy than I was looking for this fucking asshole Hutt.
There are a couple of times that have come close – I remember my Papaw driving all over the city of Wilmington, North Carolina trying to find Battleforce 2000 GI Joe figures. I earned a few grey hairs looking for Masters of the Universe figures in 2002. And I am definitely haunted by the scarcity of pretty much every SDCC Excusive that those fuckers at Hasbro have made over the past few years.
Hell, I’m having a terrible time trying to find a second 6” Star Wars Black Boba Fett to put on my Wall of Fett.
But the one toy that confounded me with how impossible it was to come across was this Jabba the Hutt playset. It was a Walmart Exclusive that really should have been labeled a Walmart Elusive (I just came up with that and I am so proud). I have fine-tuned the art of toy hunting, particularly for stuff that Walmart carries. I have several Walmarts that I can hit on my way to and from work and I pass them at odd times, often right after cases of fresh toys have been put on the sales floor. But I could not find this Jabba. It drove me crazy for quite some time.
Anyway, I relate the whole story and eventually even get around to reviewing the figure, so go check it out.
I had never reviewed a statue before when I did this one. I don’t think I have since. But I spent a shit-ton of money on this thing and was going to squeeze every drop of value I could out of it. This is still one of my favorite pieces in my collection. It just goes to show that every once in a while you should go ahead and get the big one.




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